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Cyaxares

(438 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Κυαξάρης, ancient Persian Uvaxštra-, etymology uncertain). [German version] [1] Median king of the 7th or 6th cent. BC Median ‘king’ of the 7th/6th cents. BC. In the Median lógos of Herodotus (Hdt. 1,73f.; 103-107) C. appears as τύραννος/ týrannos or βασιλεύς/ basileús of the Medes, as the son of  Phraortes, grandson of  Deioces and father of  Astyages. During his 40-year reign, he is said -- after a Scythian interregnum -- to have conquered the Assyrians and to have fought against Alyattes of Lydia (probably for possession of Cappado…

Syennesis

(182 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Συέννεσις/ Syénnesis). Term for indigenous Cilician dynasts with their centre at Tarsus (Xen. An. 1,2,23). According to Hdt. 1,74, one S. is supposed to have mediated the accord between the Lydians and the Medes; in the war between Croesus and Cyrus [2], Cilicia was on the Persian side (Hdt. 1,28). Another S. took part in Xerxes's campaign against Hellas (Hdt. 7,98; Aesch. Pers. 326-328). It is generally assumed that the duplicity of the third known S., the husband of Epyaxa, duri…

Persis

(477 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Περσίς/ Persís, Str. 15,3,1, etc.; Old Persian Pārsa). Region in Southwest Iran, which (as Anshan) belonged to the kingdom of Elam and was later the home of the dynasty of the Achaemenids [2] and Sāssānids (see below). Greek and Roman authors as well as Arab geographers divided P. into different geographical and climatic zones: the hot and infertile coastal region (with ports), the rugged, cold and inhospitable mountain region and the highly fertile region of well-watered valleys (Curt. 5,4,5-9; Str. 15,3,1; Arr. I…

Wet-nurses

(438 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] While women in archaic Greece usually nursed their own children, the use of wet-nurses became more common in the classical period. The τιθήνη/ tithḗnē or τίτθη/ títh ē (the nanny who did not nurse was referred to as τροφός/ trophós) was usually a slave (such as GVI 1729), although some free-born or freed women in Athens provided this service as well, usually ξέναι/ xénai. In the visual arts, wet-nurses played a primarily attributive role up into the 4th cent., but later one can observe an increased interest in them - that is, in their function, less as persons. In Rome, wet-nu…

Parni

(134 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ἄπαρνοι/Πάρνοι, Áparnoi/Párnoi, variant Πάρνοι/Σπαρνοι, Párnoi/Spárnoi: Str. 11,7,1; Lat. Aparni/Parni: etymology unclear). Part of the Dahae [1] tribe - aside from the Xánthioi/ Xantheíoi and Píssouroi (Str. 11,8,2; cf. 11,9,3) - who occupied the steppe of south-western Turkmenistan in the 3rd cent. BC (Str. 11,8,2f.; Justin. 41,1,10) and from there, under its leader Arsaces [1] I, invaded Parthia after 250 BC. The P. originally spoke an eastern Middle Iranian dialect (Parnian) whose nature can only be…

Zariaspa

(66 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Diadochi and Epigoni | Alexander | Graeco-Bactria | Graeco-Bactria | Hellenistic states | India, trade with | Mauryas (Ζαρίασπα/ Zaríaspa: Arr.  Anab. 4,1,5; 4,7,1; Pol. 10,49;  Str. 11,11,2; in Plin. HN 6,48 called Zariastes). Earlier name of the chief town of Bactria, which later was known as Bactra (Balkh). Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

Oxyartes

(80 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ὀξυάρτης/ Oxyártēs). Sogdian nobleman; friend of Bessus and opponent of Alexander [4] the Great, father of Rhoxane. After his reconciliation with the Macedonians (his sons joined Alexander's army), he was involved in the subjugation of Sogdia and in 326/5 BC received the Paropamisad satrapy (confirmed in 323 and 321). In 317 BC, O. fought with Eumenes [1] against Antigonus [1] (Arr. Anab. 3,28,10; 4,18,4-7; 20,4; 26,6f.; 6,15,3f.; 7,6,4; Diod. Sic. 18,3,3; 39,6; 19,14,6; 48,2). Sogdiana Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)

Iran

(1,143 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
(Middle Persian ērān, genitive plural of ēr, in Ērān-šahr, ‘land of the  Aryans/Iranians’ < Middle Persian ēr, Sassanid inscriptions and Paḫlavī literature of the 9th cent. AD < Old Iranian * arya-, Old Persian ariya-, Avestan airya-). [German version] I. History of the term Although ariya- in itself carries ethnical meaning (the Achaemenids referred to themselves as ariya- ‘Aryan’ or respectively ariyaciça-, respectively ‘of Aryan descent’), the term I. (or respectively Ērān-šahr) as an ethical, religious, and political concept is an early Sassanid creation. Under…

Qaṣr-e Šīrīn

(126 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] A place in the Iranian province of Īlām near the Iraqi border, named after Šīrīn (Shirin), the Christian wife of the Sassanid Ḫusrau II (Chosroes [6]; 591-628). In the Islamic period, Q. was an important town on the trading and pilgrimage route from Hamadān to Baghdad. On the eastern edge of the city a large fire sanctuary (?) (Çahār Tāq) is located, and north of it, on an 8 m high terrace, a palace complex attributed to Ḫusrau II (Imārat-e Ḫusrau), 370 × 190 m in size. The entire complex should be pictured as part of a park ( parádeisos ) in Antiquity. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) B…

Mortality

(735 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] I. General Before the so-called ‘demographic transition’ with its change to lower birth and death rates, societies generally  have high natality and mortality, especially infant mortality and concomitant low average life expectancy for new-born babies. This must have been the same in Antiquity, although less is known about Greece than about the Imperium Romanum. Modern scholarship assumes an ancient life expectancy of c. 20-25 years. According to modern mortality table ‘West, level 3 - often used for comparison with Rome - a ‘stable populatio…

Gaugamela

(149 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Xenophon | Alexander Large village (κώμη μεγάλη, probably modern Tall Gōmil near Ǧabal Maqlūb, 35 km north-east of Mosul) on the river Bumelos in northern Mesopotamia (Arr. Anab. 6,11,6), near which (cf. Arr. Anab. 3,8,7) the battle between  Alexander [4] the Great and  Darius [3] III took place on 1 October 331 (Arr. Anab. 3,11-15; Curt. 4,13,26-16; Plut. Alexander 31-33; Diod. Sic. 17,56-61; Iust. 11,14). After Alexander stalled a flanking manoe…

Naqš-e Rostam

(183 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Rock wall situated north of Persepolis with reliefs from the Elamite and Sassanid periods ([3. 167 No.1-8], partly with inscriptions) as well as cliff tombs with reliefs from the Achaemenid period [3. 167 No. I-IV], of which only that of Darius [1] I can be confidently attributed (through the inscription [1. DNa/b]). Others buried there are assumed to be Xerxes I, Artaxerxes [1] I and Darius [2] II. On the summit of the mountain and on the mountain generally there are numerous Zor…

Proskynesis

(645 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (προσκύνησις; proskýnēsis). Ancient gesture of reverence, a kind of blown kiss (cf. Lucian. Demosthenus enkomion 49; Apul. Apol. 56; Min. Fel. 2,4), often performed in connection with particular postures or bodily movements (turning, bowing, etc.) (Plut. Marcellus 6,11 f.; Plut. Numa 14,4; [9. 142 f.]). The term proskynesis (Aristot. Rh. 1361a 36) is derived from proskyneîn, 'kiss towards' (Aesch. Prom. 936 f.) and in content corresponds to Latin adorare and venerari (Plin. HN 28,2,25; Hier. Adversus Rufinum. 1,19; Nep. Conon 3,3; [10. 157 f., 171,…

Yuezhi

(205 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Chinese name of a 'nomadic people' with an original settlement area between the Qilian chain of mountains and Dunhuang, the starting point of the Silk Road in northwestern China. Driven from there between 176/174 and 161 BC at the command of Maodun, khan of the Xiongnu, the Y. turned west and in turn subjugated the Sai tribes (Sacae). Shortly afterwards, expelled from the Sai pasture lands in the Ili Basin and on Lake Ysyk by the Wusun, a subject people of the Xiongnu, the Y. foll…

Carmania

(311 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Καρμανία, Karmanía, Latin Carmania; etymology unclear). Name of an Iranian area east of the Persis and west of the  Gedrosia. In western documents the inhabitants of C. are called Καρμάνιοι/ Karmánioi, Latin Carmanii. This tradition distinguishes at the same time the barren north (ἡ ἔρημος Κ., e.g. Ptol. 6,5,1) from C. proper, which is described as particularly fertile (Str. 15,2,14; Arr. Ind. 32,4f.; Amm. Marc. 23,6,48). In the Achaemenid royal inscriptions, C. is mentioned as the supplier of yakā wood for the palace of Darius I in Susa [2. 14…

Pasargadae

(375 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Alexander (Πασαργάδαι/ Pasargádai, cf. Curt. 5,6,10: Pasargada). In the masculine form, name of the Persian tribe to whom the Achaemenids are said to have belonged (Hdt. 1,125), in the feminine form, the Greek name for the residence built by Cyrus [2] II (after his victory over Croesus c. 550 BC at the site of the victory over Astyages (Str. 15,3,8)?) in the Murġāb Plain (1900 m/N.N.), 30 km north-east of Persepolis (Elamite name form: Batraqataš). In the Achaemenid period, the chief monuments were sc…

Comisene

(109 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Border territory of Media, opposite Parthyene east of the Caspian Gates (the modern territory of Dāmghān). Although it had already been lost for a period to the Seleucids before the eastern campaign ( anábasis) of  Antiochus [5] III, it did not finally fall to the Parthians (along with its central town of  Hecatompylus) until the 2nd cent. BC (cf. Str. 11,9,1). In the late Sassanid period the province ( šahr) Kōmiš, which incidentally was probably never a Christian diocese [1], separated the provinces of Gurgān and Ray. Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 R. Gysel…

Elymais

(381 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Ἐλυμαίς; Elymaís). Greek name of a region in south-west Iran ( Ḫūzestān) within the territory of the ancient empire of  Elam. Originally probably mainly used for the mountainous Baḫtı̄ārı̄ region (in contrast with the Susiana plains), the term increasingly also included the expanding territory of the Hellenistic-Parthian ‘kingdom’ of E. [1. 39-45; 2. 3-8]. E./Susiana was one of the political and economic core regions of the Achaemenid and Seleucid empires; however, for the actual E., it is to be expected that some special forms of…

Istachr

(154 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] ( Iṣṭaxr, modern Taxt-i Ṭāʾūs). Site of ancient ruins located in Persis (Fārs) on the road from Iṣfahān to Shīrāz, at  Naqš-e Rostam; having been populated since prehistoric times, a fire sanctuary for  Anāhitā - according to Arabic tradition - was subsequently located there (archaeological investigations cannot prove this); Sāsān, the eponym of the  Sassanid Dynasty, is supposed to have been its priest. Inscriptions, finds of coins, seal legends, and literary accounts clearly show th…

Tang-e Sarvak

(111 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] Gorge midway between Ramhor, Hormuz and Behbahan in ancient  Elymais (region in southwestern Iran), where rock reliefs (some with Elymaean inscriptions) were carved on four stone blocks in the 2nd/3rd cents. AD. Some of the reliefs show the dynasts Abar-Basi and Orodes with dependants and dignitaries in rites of legitimization or rulership (in the presence of deities and divine symbols), and on Block III a cavalry battle (with minor characters) is depicted. The identification of t…
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